“On the Sunny Side of the Ocean” by John Fahey

Beginning in 1959, John Fahey’s “Blind Joe Death” excursions for solo acoustic guitar were the first to radically reconsider traditional blues and old-time music, extending by personalizing what Harry Smith did with the Anthology of American Folk Music (1952): rather than mythologizing what at that time was a largely unknown recorded legacy, as Smith did, Fahey … Continue reading “On the Sunny Side of the Ocean” by John Fahey

“Hunting Song” by Pentangle

The embrace of Arthurian legend and Tolkien-esque fantasy by British musicians in the 1960s and 70s — fueled undoubtedly by mixing the sounds of the folk revival with psychedelics and horrified revulsion at an overly industrialized and de-personalized world — worked to create some truly exotic hybrids in a scene that had also been profoundly influenced by American blues music … Continue reading “Hunting Song” by Pentangle

“Midnight Feast” by Lal Waterson and Oliver Knight

One of the few individuals who could lay any real claim to being essential to the British folk revival, Elaine “Lal” Waterson lent her unique voice — absolutely beautiful and instantly recognizable — to the records she and her brother Mike and sister Norma made as The Watersons, defining the passion and respect necessary to performing … Continue reading “Midnight Feast” by Lal Waterson and Oliver Knight